History Guild General History Quiz 145
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The stories behind the questions
1. Who led the communists to victory in the Chinese civil war?
Mao Zedong – The war ended in 1949 when the Nationalists under Chiang Kai-shek were defeated on the mainland and established their capital on Taiwan.
2. When was homosexuality removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders?
1973 – Prior to this time the psychological profession put forward a range of allegedly scientific theories of its causes, and offered or imposed treatments such as aversion therapy. Homosexuality was decriminalised in Australia between 1975 and 1997, in the UK in 1967 and in the US between 1962 and 2003.
3. In 1931 which country’s constitution decreed that it would be ruled by the descendants of King Solomon of Jerusalem and the Queen of Sheba?
Ethiopia – The Ethiopian constitution was introduced under the rule of Haile Selassie, who claimed a continuous line of descent to King Solomon of Jerusalem and the Queen of Sheba. This is almost certainly legendary rather than factual.
4. Which of these events occurred first?
Peloponnesian War – 431 BCE
Sack of Rome by the Visigoths – 410 CE
Coronation of Charlemagne – 800 CE
Black Death – 1346 CE
5. When did the Nazi ‘Beer Hall Putsch” occur?
1923 – Read more about this, and how it compares to more recent events.
6. Which of these were an ancestor of modern humans?
Homo erectus – Now extinct, this enigmatic human ancestor probably evolved in Africa more than 2 million years ago. Humans have not evolved from Gorillas, the gorilla–human last common ancestor is estimated to have lived 8 to 10 million years ago.
7. What is thought to have prevented King Tutankhamen and his wife Ankhesenamum from bearing a male heir?
Incest – Ankhesenamum was Tutankhamen’s half sister and he himself was born from brother sister incest. This strategy was designed to concentrate political power within the family. However the couple’s shared genes probably made it impossible for them to conceive a healthy baby, and two of their mummified foetuses were found in the tomb.
8. When was the first woman elected Speaker of the US House of Representatives?
2007 – Nancy Pelosi of California was the first woman elected Speaker of the House of Representatives in 2007.
9. Where was Dame Nellie Melba born?
Melbourne, Australia – Born in 1861, Opera soprano Melba was one of the most famous singers of her era and the first Australian to be recognised internationally as a musician.
10. Captured after a year long siege in 1347, what port town was known as ‘the brightest jewel in the English crown’?
Calais – King Edward III and his forces captured the town, which became central to the British wool trade with Europe. It was recaptured by King Henry II of France in 1558. During its time under English rule it was considered to be fully English, electing members to English parliament representing the Borough of Calais.